Sunday, April 22, 2018
Sports

'Hail Mary' to 'Hail Larry'— this one had it all

It was a bizarre night in the desert.

Arizona's overtime win Saturday over the Green Bay Packers featured much more than Aaron Rodgers' latest "Hail Mary" and the Cardinals' "Hail Larry." There was a coin flip that didn't flip, Patrick Peterson's 100-yard interception return that didn't count, and Randall Cobb's one-handed 51-yard catch called back by offsetting penalties.

And then there was the coin toss going into overtime.

It was a "debacle," Rodgers said.

He called "tails" and referee Clete Blakeman tossed the coin into the air and it fell to the turf.

"It was just tossed in the air and did not turn over at all and landed on the ground," Rodgers said. "So we obviously thought that was not right. He picked the coin up and ... he flipped it (again) without giving me a chance to make a recall there. It was confusing. I think he was trying to avoid the embarrassment of what just happened and flip it quickly."

The coin landed on heads — both times — and Arizona got the ball to start the overtime.

Just to get the game to that point, Rodgers managed to pass for 101 yards — on two completions — in the final 55 seconds of the fourth quarter.

Even more astounding, it was fourth-and-20 from the Packers' 4 when Rodgers took the snap, retreated into his end zone, scrambled to his left and finally let the pass fly.

Jeff Janis, who stands 6 feet 3, pulled it down at the Arizona 36, a 60-yard gain.

The Packers were out of timeouts, and they weren't set on the next snap. With 21 seconds to go, the ball was pushed back to the Cardinals 41. A short pass attempt fell incomplete and there were just five seconds left.

It was enough time for a final heave to the end zone, where Janis outjumped the All-Pro cornerback Peterson and safety Rashad Johnson to bring the ball down.

Janis hadn't had a touchdown catch in his career until he had two Saturday night.

He was seeing action because Davante Adams was out with a knee injury and Cobb was knocked out of the game with a chest injury sustained on a spectacular one-handed grab of Rodgers' 51-yard pass in the first quarter, a play that was negated by offsetting penalties.

Arizona coach Bruce Arians provided Rodgers enough time for the "Hail Mary" finish to regulation by, with his team leading 17-13, choosing to have Carson Palmer throw a pass on second-and-8 from the Green Bay 22 with 2:34 to play, rather than running the ball to use up time.

Did he regret it? "Oh, hell no," Arians said. "I never regret a call. ... I play to win. Ten-point game, it's over."

On the first play of overtime, Palmer rolled to his right to evade tacklers, then spotted Larry Fitzgerald alone on the far side of the field. The Cardinal receiver broke a handful of tackles as he made his way 75 yards downfield to the Green Bay 5.

Two plays later, Fitzgerald lined up in the backfield and took a shovel pass for the game-winning score.

"I can't tell you how many times I've run that shovel in practice and just waiting for my opportunity," Fitzgerald said, "and lo-and-behold, the second round of the playoffs you get your number called on a shovel. My eyes lit up in the huddle."

The stadium rocked with chants of "Lar-ry! Lar-ry!" and the Cardinals were headed to the NFC championship game against Carolina.

"It was nuts," Fitzgerald said. "It was nuts."

Comments
For starters: Rays vs. Twins, going for the first series sweep of the season, 1:10 p.m.

For starters: Rays vs. Twins, going for the first series sweep of the season, 1:10 p.m.

Rays pitcher Yonny Chirinos is no longer just part of a bullpen day, he's the No. 4 starter and who goes to the mound at 1:10 p.m. against Phil Hughes to try to help Tampa Bay attempt to complete a three-game sweep of the Twins.Catcher Wilson Ramos g...
Updated: 2 hours ago
District softball schedules for Tampa Bay

District softball schedules for Tampa Bay

Class 9A-8 (higher seed hosts)Tuesday: No. 3 Alonso at No. 2 Palm Harbor University, 4; No. 4 Sarasota Riverview at No. 1 Newsome, 7Thursday: Final, 4 or 7 (depending on who hosts)Class 8A-4 at Strawberry Crest Tuesday: No. 1 Wharton vs. No. 4 Wiregr...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Lightning has answer for Devils and David Puddy

Lightning has answer for Devils and David Puddy

You knew those who work the scoreboard for the Lightning games at Amalie Arena would have an answer Saturday during Game 5 to the Devils using David Puddy during Game 4 at the Prudential Center.Puddy meets Homer Simpson.Actually, Puddy met Terry the ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Rays thoughts are with ex-teammate Danny Farquhar

Rays thoughts are with ex-teammate Danny Farquhar

Members of the Rays organization sent their thoughts and prayers to former teammate Danny Farquhar, who was hospitalized Saturday night in Chicago in stable but critical condition after suffering a brain hemorrhage caused by a ruptured aneurysm.Farqu...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Rays on Sunday: 1:10 vs. Twins

Rays on Sunday: 1:10 vs. Twins

Sunday vs. Twins1:10, Tropicana FieldTV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 760-AM (Spanish)Tickets: $20-$300; available at Tropicana Field box office, raysbaseball.com, surcharge of up to $5 within five hours of game.Promotion: Mascot socks for kids 14 a...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Baseball: Bulls edge Knights to even series

Baseball: Bulls edge Knights to even series

After a two-hour weather delay Saturday evening at USF, the remote local threat of lightning finally dissipated.The postseason intensity never did.For the second consecutive night, the UCF-USF baseball series delivered, this time with the Bulls (25-1...
Published: 04/22/18
Rays Journal: Team effort pays off in 10-1 win over Twins

Rays Journal: Team effort pays off in 10-1 win over Twins

ST. PETERSBURG – Let's be clear here, the Rays still have a long way to go, and a lot of ground to make up.But seeing them play like they did Saturday in beating the Twins 10-1, putting on a solid all-around show in cobbling their first three-g...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning-Devils: Grading Tampa Bay’s clinching 3-1 victory in Game 5

Lightning-Devils: Grading Tampa Bay’s clinching 3-1 victory in Game 5

TAMPA — Closers.That's what the Lightning looked like as it closed out the New Jersey Devils in five games with a 3-1 win Saturday.Nikita Kucherov's star power blazed again, the defense controlled the game and not even Jersey goaltend...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Athletics’ Sean Manaea no-hits Red Sox

Athletics’ Sean Manaea no-hits Red Sox

OAKLAND, Calif. – Sean Manaea watched as Marcus Semien fired a ball from short to second baseman Jed Lowrie, turned around, and jumped into the arms of catcher Jonathan Lucroy. History was made at the Coliseum.Manaea no-hit the Red Sox on ...
Published: 04/21/18
Updated: 04/22/18
Maple Leafs force Game 6 with Bruins

Maple Leafs force Game 6 with Bruins

BOSTON — Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk scored 1:19 apart in the second period, and then the Maple Leafs killed off a 5-on-3 and three more power plays in a row to beat the Bruins 4-3 in Game 5 on Saturday night and avoid playoff eliminatio...
Published: 04/21/18